Ancient Bronze Age swords from Europe are among the rarest objects of the ancient world. They were prestige weapons of the highest level and required a great deal of wealth to acquire out of the reach of the common citizen of the day where axes were the most common weapon. Their scarcity in ancient times carries forward today where complete specimens are RARELY seen offered for sale. This superb example is complete with a full hilt and the original two bronze rivets that would have attached it to a wooden, ivory or bone handle. You can see rare traces of the former handle by the ring-shaped crescent marks left in the patina on the hilt. It's shorter than typical size means it might have been carried by a young or female warrior as most specimens are about 20% longer. Out of a fantastic collection of many rare European Bronze Age items we obtained years ago, this was the only sword.
Cleaned and conserved in our lab to preserve the integrity of the metal and allow safe handling. Be wary of modern copies that plague the antiquity market today. We subject every artifact we offer for sale to rigorous inspection and authentication in our own museum lab facility.
The Tumulus culture dominated Central Europe during the Middle Bronze Age (c. 1600 to 1200 BC). It was the descendant of the Unetice culture. Its heartland was the area previously occupied by the Unetice culture besides Bavaria and Württemberg. It was succeeded by the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture. The Tumulus culture was eminently a warrior society, which expanded with new chiefdoms eastward into the Carpathian Basin (up to the river Tisza), and northward into Polish and Central European Únětice territories. The culture's dispersed settlements centred in fortified structures.
As the name implies, the Tumulus culture is distinguished by the practice of burying the dead beneath burial mounds (tumuli or kurgans). The Tumulus culture was prevalent during the Middle Bronze Age. Tumuli have been used elsewhere in Europe from the Stone Age to the Iron Age yet, the term "Tumulus culture" specifically refers to the South German variant of the Bronze Age.